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General aid help!!!
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Nov 29, 2011
aaron hope wrote:
Not so sure about using it to fix a line to an anchor, but I would agree that the Alpine Butterfly is better for lowering out the haulbag. In my opinion, it handles the weird angle from the lower out point, to the bag, and then up to the anchor better than an Eight.

It's good. I use it rigging anchors in industry all the time. Matter of fact the guy I work for prefers it over an 8.
NickinCO Mardi
From colorado
Joined Sep 17, 2010
40 points
Nov 29, 2011
1. When fixing a line for the follower, what knot system do you prefer?

I use a clove hitch backed up with an eight on a bight. I've heard an alpine butterfly is better.

2. What type of rope is preferred for the follower to ascend?

The follower will ascend the lead line and clean. I use a 10.7mm lead line because I'm afraid of sharp edges. A lead line should be dynamic of couse.

3. Using a 2 aider system, thoughts on what kind to get. I'm thinking Yates or Fish.

A step aider with a bar is the best when starting out. When you get quicker or start mixing free and aide you will want a lighter and smaller aider.

4. Is anyone in the Boulder or Golden, CO area that would be down to show me how to really place some gear and show me a system or two?

The hardest part of learning is convincing someone to belay you while you spend two hours on a pitch. I learned by setting up a fixed line next a crack, then aiding up the crack while using a gri-gri for a backup. Bone Collector on The Quarry Wall in Golden is a great place to practice.
From Lebanon, NH
Joined Oct 13, 2010
15 points
Nov 29, 2011
1. Figure eight has been my experience but the alpine butterfly sounds promising too.

2. Thick dynamic rope that the leader has lead on.

3. 2 aider system is fine. I have a pair of Fish ladders and they are excellent.

4. I live in Loveland and would be more than happy to get out and do some aiding. Shoot me a PM if interested.
Brian C.
From Longmont, CO
Joined Feb 9, 2010
990 points
Nov 29, 2011
In John Long's Climbing Anchors book (2nd Edition) he mentions that clove hitches have been known to slip when using a static line and heavy load, but dynamic rope does not do so. Not sure his source. I guess if you have your 2nd jug on a static line use a Figure 8 or Alpine Butterfly.

BTW, per my earlier post & earlier question, does anyone regularly use a static line for the follower to jug with on big walls. Seems like overkill... the leader has to pull three ropes (lead rope, static line & haul line), maybe hard to clean the pro if the route isn't entirely straight up & down, etc.
From Albany, NY
Joined Aug 15, 2011
483 points
Nov 29, 2011
This thread is awesome! Keep it coming! I'm hoping for at least two or three more pages of people answering the same four questions. I'm sure the OP is finding it really beneficial.

Stay SAFE out there folks.
Joined Jan 16, 2011
0 points
Nov 29, 2011
1. I tend to use the F8 or alpine butterfly for fixing. I've had a clove hitch lock so tight I had to cut the rope.

2. Dynamic is fine, 10mm min. The second person jugs the lead line. Don't buy a static until you know for sure you're going to be hauling lots of stuff. And if you do buy a static check out sterling's HT technology ropes. 9 to 9.5mm is nice. Plenty strong enough and durable.

3. Both the Yates and Fish are good aiders. Go with a ladder first so you don't have to relearn later on. I like Fish stuff.

If you go with 1 inch wide aiders, consider putting ski boot insoles in your shoes, approach shoes, etc to stiffer and take stress off your feet.

If you have any other questions just post them up.
John McNamee
From Littleton, CO
Joined Jul 29, 2002
845 points
Nov 30, 2011
Assuming it's a two bolt belay, eight on a bight with a loop of slack to a second eight on a bight. You can use this loop of slack for racking gear for a switch over, bivy etc.
If it's a three bolt belay an eight on a bight to a clove to an eight on a bight. Now you have two loops of rope for organization. Organization at the belay is really important to avoid a CF. You can use a gri gri to move around the belay on your end of the rope or alternatively, use a 8-8-clove pattern so allow yourself an adjustable dynamic tether.

The alpine butterfly would work just as well as the eight and would be easier to untie. I just learned on an eight and don't find an eight too hard to untie after being jugged.

As a follower I would love to jug a beefy static line. That's not really an option in 99% of cases because you won't lead on a static line and the follower will have no way to clean the route. Clean a single aid pitch and this will become abundantly clear in the first 5 minutes.
Part of the challenge of aid climbing is keeping the rope safe from bad edges with re-belays and other tricks. It's just the nature of the beast.

3) Either of those will be fine. Get ones with a spreader bar if you are going 2 aider. If I could go back I would buy ones with spreader bars instead of my metolius 8 step ladders (even though these are really good, medium priced ladder style aiders).

4) In NC but here is some unsolicited advice:
I would read all of Chris Mac's stuff on supertopo, read john middendorfs book, reread Chris Mac's stuff and watch all the videos. Read old threads trip reports and you will learn a lot. Aid climbing threads tend to have a better signal to noise ratio. Try to visualize all the systems that are utilized from the perspective of both the leader and the follower. If you want to really challenge yourself, understand how all the systems work for aid soloing.

Watch this video
Joined Jul 17, 2011
0 points
Dec 5, 2011
Listen to Caleb because he knows stuff. "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Joined Dec 8, 2007
0 points
Dec 6, 2011
Listen to Pete. He knows his stuff.

Quote Andy Novak:"Do you trad climb? I would get a few years of gear placement under your belt before jumping in. If not, you will take some falls when gear pulls. It could be bad."

I'd look at this differently, whether or not you have trad practice with gear, the amount of time you lead trad often has very little effect upon the quality of your placements primarily because you only test the placements that you fall on or that are weighted by your follower.

So one way to look at it is to say, weighting every piece on aid can lead to disaster. The other way to look at it is that aiding can vastly improve your placements in both aid and free climbing if you approach it as practice.

Or a better way to say it. When you're learning aid, find a nice plumb line, set a TR (self TR most likely because no one's going to want to belay you for your slow-as-molasses aid thrashing)and aid the s### out of it. if anything, experiment with your placements. You're on TR so you want to get pieces to blow. You need failure over and over to get a feel for where that fine line is between marginal and crap. better on TR than 10' above a ledge. Oh and while you're on TR practice hooking. A bomber hook is your best way around a sketchy placement every time.
kevin deweese
From Oakland, Ca
Joined Jan 14, 2007
160 points

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